Empowering Women with Self-Care
In today’s world, we hear more and more about self-care. Although many might associate it with pricey creams and skincare products, practicing self-care goes beyond our physical appearance and bodies. It involves taking care of our minds and mental well-being. Self-care is how we can stay mentally and physically healthy, especially in stressful situations.
Self-care helps our personal growth and empowers us in numerous ways. However, in our hectic lifestyles, we often forget about ourselves and our needs. We invest too much energy into everything around us – our families, work, relationships and forget to take care of ourselves first to take care of the rest on our plate.
The lack of self-care can lead people to various mental health issues and health problems , so it’s one of the crucial aspects in our lives we need to reconsider. Investing in self-care isn’t selfish – it’s the primary way we can stay healthy and well, keep up with daily tasks and live our lives to the fullest.
What is Self-Care?
Per The World Health Organization (WHO) , self-care is “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Self-care doesn’t mean health care without a professional; it means taking charge of your well-being and managing parts of your health care if you decide to do so.
Self-care is about taking care of your body and mind to stay healthy and well, so you can perform well at work, care for others, and complete daily tasks.
The self-care steps vary across women depending on their needs and emotional and physical health, but their goals are the same to stay physically and emotionally well.
Why is Self-care Important for Women?
Self-care is how we give ourselves a chance to breathe, relax, keep our minds healthy and avoid burnout—although crucial, practicing self-care is something many women globally can’t access, similarly to essential healthcare. Women still face legal discrimination in 155 countries and are victims of different forms of violence, including forced marriage, the obligation to have a male guardian, sexual violence, etc. They are forced to stay home and follow the rules of patriarchal society, which usually leaves women overpowered. Women have been particularly marginalized from cultural and social life in many countries and face obstacles to have equal rights and access to essential healthcare such as modern contraception. The global pandemic and global restrictions have also increased the danger for some women at home.
In such circumstances, women find it much more challenging to invest in self-care and often put everyone else first, neglecting their own needs. However, we all must have the power and rights to care for our emotional and physical well-being.
The self-care strategies below will help you take charge of your emotional and physical well-being to achieve balance in your life and health.
Understanding the Concept of Self-care
Self-care is often misunderstood, and many believe it’s selfish. However, taking space from someone when you need a break, meditating when you feel overwhelmed, and practicing other self-care methods are preventative and reduces the risk of health complications. When women don’t invest in self-care, they are more prone to mental and physical issues.
Spend time alone
Spending quality time alone is sometimes challenging. You have kids to raise, a family to take care of, and in the worst-case scenario, a male guardian who sets the limitations for you and has the power to make critical decisions on your behalf. Nevertheless, spending time alone is one of the crucial steps in self-care. It allows you to slow down, relax, recharge, and regain your energy. It can be as simple as finding a quiet room in the house or spending time outdoors alone.
Learn to Say No
Many women globally have been raised with the idea that they have to be ‘nice.’ Being nice is perhaps one of the primary reasons men get away so easily with abusing women. As a nice girl, you’re probably more concerned about what others think than about your own needs and desires, and that’s understandable. We all have been raised with wrong perceptions and ideas and are trying to please others more than ourselves.
Think of many times when you said “yes,” to a request, only to be nice to someone and committed to something you wouldn’t want to do. Constantly agreeing to do things you don’t desire will pack your schedule, drain your energy, and leave you frustrated. When you already have a busy schedule, adding things you don’t fancy doing won’t do any good to your mental or physical health.
Although it may seem challenging, learning to say no to others’ requests is vital. When your friend wants to go on a walk, but you don’t feel like leaving your home, it’s okay to say no. Will they think of you as lazy? Perhaps yes, but is that more important than the quality sleep you’re about to get? Or maybe your male neighbor wants to have coffee sometimes, but you fear saying ‘no’ because of him thinking of you as rude. Deep inside, you feel he’s hitting on you and more likely asking you on a date than a friendly meeting for coffee. But you are a ‘nice girl,’ and although you do already have a boyfriend or aren’t interested in boys at all and keep checking out the fabulous waitress at the coffee shop, you still agree to meet with him. He tells you he likes you, you say you don’t, and you’re sorry, so hopefully, you go back home and never have coffee with that guy again. So what’s the problem? Nobody was harmed. But, probably you have an upcoming deadline, and you wanted to work on your project more than you wanted to go on a date with a guy you don’t like. Now you have to stay up all night and use your sleep time to finish something you could’ve done during the day if you were brave enough to say ‘no.’ So learn to say ‘no’ for the sake of your mental and physical health and trust your gut instincts.
Even if you don’t have access to a fancy gym, exercising at home or running around the block is a great mood booster and will increase your energy levels. Although some people leave exercise out of their schedules, it increases productivity by reducing stress and battling fatigue, so dedicating 15-30 minutes to exercise per day may help you accomplish your tasks more successfully.
Find Time for Your Hobbies
Everyone has their own set of activities that make them happy. Whatever your hobby is, it deserves some of the spare time of your schedule. Hobbes can elevate your mood and make you happier and healthier. They can bring your true self to the front and help you understand yourself better. Whatever it is – photography, cycling, drawing, cooking, or any other activity, make sure to find some room in your busy schedule for it.
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